Lily Ellis and Conor
On September 18th, Lily Ellis took part in the Croke Park Abseil, she took on this challenge to raise funds for CHI at Crumlin. Lily Ellis knows first-hand that medical research matters for kids like her son Conor.
When Conor was born, he appeared to be a healthy baby with nothing to cause concern. Everything went exactly to plan. However, when the maternity hospital were doing their routine tests, they detected an issue. After some further tests Conor was transferred to CHI at Crumlin, his worried parents following behind in a car. It was discovered that Conor had pulmonary valve stenosis. When Conor was two days old he had his first cardiac procedure and just one week later he had open heart surgery.
“The first few days at Crumlin were a whirlwind, we were just trying to take it all in. Cardiologist Dr. Orla Franklin, was new to Crumlin having just transferred from Great Ormond Street, Conor was one of her first patients. Dr. Orla Franklin did all she could to help us understand what would be happening. This is one of the things about the staff at Crumlin, they did the best that they could do for us all of the time. Dr. Orla Franklin kept us informed and helped us to understand the procedures. If I called at night, the staff would always take time to give me an update.” - Lily, Conor’s Mum
“Now Conor is a healthy twelve year old who loves sport and farming, he plays for his local club with his Dad and brothers. I feel that we were so lucky in so many ways, lucky that Conor’s condition was caught before we left the hospital, lucky that the facilities of Crumlin are so close by. Crumlin is a world class medical facility, with doctors that are recognised as leaders in their field, all of this within a half an hour from our house. The moments that stand out to us now are all related to the care that we received, the care that we still receive and the first-hand knowledge that everyone in Crumlin is doing the very best that they can.”
“Earlier this year Conor complained of chest pains in school, the school have been amazing with Conor since day one, but it was the first time ever to get that call from the school. Naturally we called Dr. Orla Franklin, had an appointment with her and then a subsequent MRI. This was our first time back in the cardiac unit for a few years, now known as the New Children’s Heart Centre , I couldn’t get over how much had changed and the fundraising that went into making those changes possible.”
“By coincidence, or fate, a few weeks later I saw a post on LinkedIn about the Croke Park challenge. It was the first fundraiser in seven months. It just really hit home for me, my connection with Crumlin, the opportunity to give back, and the fact that the boys had been at the last league match in Croke Park. My husband Alan had also played for Wicklow in Croke Park - I’ve heard about Alan’s point scoring there for long enough, it felt like the perfect chance for me to get onto the pitch!”
“It really hit a cord, Covid-19 changed everything for everyone, fundraising stopped overnight but the sickest children in Ireland were still sick and needed that fundraising more than ever. I had the opportunity to help in a tiny way, so I did.”
You too can get involved, have fun and raise vital funds for CHI at Crumlin by doing your own fundraiser or by taking part in the 150k Your Way appeal, contact our communities team at: firstname.lastname@example.org